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Friday, May 13, 2005

As Iron Sharpens Iron - Blog War?

I haven't posted in almost a week, for two reasons.

First, I have been finishing up my last week in the Army and my last week in my Master's program (this one, at least). Lots of work and little fun to be had.

The second is this - I have been reading, and responding a bit, to David's posts on, essentially, what to do when someone deletes your comments on a blog. He had three, here, here and here.

On the first, he asked my opinion on what I would do. Oddly enough (read the comments), it had happened to me in March. I didn't name the offender because I wasn't so sure they needed to be dimed out. The offender has revealed herself, and is not repentant. Furthermore, she has posted some snarky responses to my "Women in Leadership" series without linking to my posts or posting here. (She does claim a different source for her inspiration, but I'm feeling feisty).

If you read her posts, it is a cheerleader site. She only respects opinions that agree 100% with hers. Contrast this with Mark, David, or Robert, and you see the difference. Comments in opposition at the offending blog are considered "off topic" or "not about what Christ would do", or even "fighting amongst Christians" (the post my comment was deleted from). The last time I checked, Iron Sharpens Iron (Proverbs 27:17). If other Christians are not qualified to challenge our positions, then who is? I accept challenges from all comers. I don't even demand they be respectful, but here's the reason I don't need to - respect is tyically returned in the portion it is given. Snarky posts get snarky comments. I go heavy on facts, am respectful in opinion (usually...) and don't squelch dissenters.

Here's a shot of me after my black belt test:

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Here's one of me, back in the day:

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As you can see, I've been into combatives for a while, and I'll tell you this - you don't stay this pretty by fighting the other guy's fight.

In boxing, my fight is a points fight, not a knockout fight. This keeps me from getting smacked hard (generally) too often. I hate getting hit in the nose, and I don't want to get marked up. The method is a lot of stinging jabs to irritate the opponent into getting upset and stepping into a power punch (straight right-left hook combo is preferred). The system was fairly effective.

In martial arts, I do exactly the opposite. A lot more hard blows are thrown, so the best option is to devastate the opponent right away. Thus, my specialty is spinning kicks - the ones most likely to end the fight. With my long legs, this is pretty successful.

Jennifer's fight seems to be to sit outside the ring and yell at the opponent, claiming that they aren't good enough to fight her. She bashes fundamentalists (who I am not associated with), then uses that example to smear all conservative Christians.

If you want to discuss the issues, bring your logic to the table, and I'll bring mine. I'm standing in the middle of the ring, waiting.

But, if you want to have a cheerleading site where you only allow people to agree with you, then post it in the header. Us "thinkers and fighters" will stay away and will leave you to those who are entertained by cheerleading. We have hard thoughts to ponder, shape, and reconsider. After all, if I didn't have the few who post here to debate things with, I'd be back to talking about video games.


  • Hammer, my battles are strictly intellectual…unless survival is at stake, in which case I’ll do what’s needed (I do have mouths to feed). Needless to say, I’ve not engaged in hand-to-hand since grade school, but I do enjoy boxing and UFC (as a spectator only). Do you watch The Contender, ala Sly Stalone and Sugar Ray?

    As an aside, I’m with you in terms of “blogging to the choir”, as a rule, that is. At the end of the day, I write about what I think and respond or adjust, depending on the counter arguments. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a blast.

    By Blogger Robert, at 5/14/2005 12:35:00 AM  

  • I've had a couple of "blog battles" of just this sort. In the last one the guy got really ticked off when I said he was censoring me when he deleted my comments on his blog. What I did that from that point on, if I wanted to respond to him is did so on my own blog and shot a trackback over to his blog. Of course, he could still delete the trackback, another form of censorship, but he couldn't delete my original thoughts and words.

    By Blogger Eric Grumbles, at 5/14/2005 11:34:00 AM  

  • You're so vain, you probably think this song about you.....

    Honestly, this is the first time I've even been on your blog in months. If you have a traffic tracker on here, you can verify it. But, regardless, my post about women in the military was in fact directed, indirectly, to those who think like you do. I don't know whatever gave the idea that I was some kind of lily livered girl who shirks from engaging in thoughtful conversation. But I have come to realize my mother was right when she said "arguing with a fool proves there are two".

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 5/14/2005 03:41:00 PM  

  • Jennifer, I acknowledge in my post that you got the idea from elsewhere.

    "I don't know whatever gave the idea that I was some kind of lily livered girl who shirks from engaging in thoughtful conversation."

    That would be deleting my comments, ignoring my logical, respectful points, and telling others who disagree that only you are speaking for what Christ would do. Throw in that the closest you come to responding to reasonable challenges is to say that "we're to be about the business of reaching the lost". All of those are lily-livered, indeed. Being a "girl", however, has nothing to do with it.

    "But I have come to realize my mother was right when she said "arguing with a fool proves there are two"."

    So, you say you don't hide from discussion that may confront you with an error in your position, then claim you won't "argue with a fool" - because everyone who disagrees with you is a fool, right?

    Just post on your blog header that you are not interested in any challenges to your position son anything, and people will know the truth.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/14/2005 11:29:00 PM  

  • Robert,
    I don't watch The Contender, mostly because I watch very little TV. It sounds like a kind of reality show I would really enjoy.

    It is the lively, intelligent discussion that keeps blogging fun for me. Others, clearly, want no such thing!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/14/2005 11:30:00 PM  

  • That's a good plan, Eric. Unfortunately, Jennifer's blog doesn't do trackbacks. I'm also kind of loathe to post whole posts by someone who deletes comments, you know? It would be the most effective way to counter the nonsense, but I'd rather not promote them. We'll see how this experiment goes....

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/14/2005 11:33:00 PM  

  • And the irony is that on Mark's blog, when I referred to my church as my faith community, you stated that a "Christian" would never do such a thing. I'm not sure what you think the difference is between Jennifer stating that dissenting comments are "not what Christians would do" and you flat out telling me that I'm not a Christian because of the way I refer to the people with whom I worship. Careful!

    By Anonymous LiberalChristian, at 5/15/2005 01:48:00 AM  

  • Hammer:

    You gotta do what you want on your own blog, it is your slice of the blog world. If I find others deleting my comments, etc., I just don't return to their sites as frequently or at all...I don't mind a good 'fight', but I am also not into fighting an enemy that either doesn't play fair or refuses to acknowledge his and my strengths and weaknesses in a fight.

    By Blogger John B., at 5/15/2005 08:28:00 AM  

  • Hammer, I responded to YOU, David and Jennifer on Contrarian Views (David's site). This NEEDS to be the END of this!!!

    By Blogger Teresa, at 5/15/2005 07:12:00 PM  

  • PS: We can disagree and have different views without destroying one-another. You all participated, you are all the body of Christ and should be as ONE so that others may know that we belong to HIM!

    By Blogger Teresa, at 5/15/2005 07:15:00 PM  

  • LC,
    Thoughtful point, indeed. What I should have said was that "no Christian I know would call their church a faith community". Obviously, my experience is limited, and a failure to acknowledge that implies that I have the monopoly on the truth. Point taken!

    Consider it ended. I'd like it if Jennifer would do one of three things: Admit she isn't interested in honest discussion, apologize for deleting a respecful comment because she really is interested in honest discussion, or have an honest discussion with me!

    Perhaps you can help me with the quandry I am in: I see a sister who may have doctrinal issues, but who refuses to discuss it. As a minister, I am supposed to "preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

    Isn't it sin to not confront the issue? I agree I will should back off this line of discussion...but do I let doctrinal errors pass?

    Thanks for your thoughts. I covet them.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/15/2005 10:33:00 PM  

  • I'm assuming you wrote this before you went to David's site, but I think that you all are having a communication issue; my husband and I have those. We are all just perceiving things differently. Ask the Lord to help you see things the way He does (she does) and she should do the same. Give it some time. I have also learned that when someone is not seeing things the way I do, I need to look at myself and if I am truly right, then eventually the Lord will help them to see; I can't.

    By Blogger Teresa, at 5/16/2005 02:19:00 PM  

  • Teresa,
    We are having a communication issue. When I disagree with her assertions, I present my points as to why I think they aren't true. She does not respond to the issue, but either says she has the monopoly on the mind of Christ, that I am "picking a fight" or that I am reinforcing some sterotype.

    The issue is that Jennifer cannot bear to be challenged in anything she says. Go back and review her blog. There are a couple of places where I or others point out a possible problem with a position. She dismisses them all, with similar attitudes. Her sarcastic tone in her posts and comments are infuriating.

    I "talk" with people of all different persuasions in blogdom (just check out my blogroll). I have discussions with them all the time. None have ever turned into name calling.

    By the way, Jennifer has posted yet another dig at me on her blog, and refused to engage in a discussion on the issues. I'm done with her site, which I am sure will make her very happy.

    I cannot let false doctrine be preached in my presence (abortion is better than "unwanted pregnancy", Christianity is synonymous with environmental abuse, etc). If she were a declared atheist I wouldn't care nearly as much.

    What would you call someone who claims to follow Christ but doesn't accept Scripture as truth?

    To paraphrase Bunyan, I must conduct myself in such as manner as to convert "professing Christians" to Christ or to make my presence unbearable to them through speaking the truth.

    However,like I said, I'm done posting on it here and at David's, and I won't darken her "door" again.

    I value your opinions, Teresa. If I was much worse, perhaps you could show how I earned the comments and posts I got. I'm not picking a fight, I just wonder how being direct became worthy of censorship.


    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/16/2005 02:41:00 PM  

  • As a Christian who also leans conservative, I can understand your frustration with having to deal with being stereotyped as a legalistic, judgmental fundamentalist. I wrote about the blurring of the lines between fundamentalism and conservative Christianity here:

    Of Babies and Bathwater

    This post launched a bit of a firestorm with some liberal Christians. Fortunately, they were open to dialogue so it has ended up "sharpening the irons" for all involved as a result.

    By Blogger Chad, at 5/16/2005 05:41:00 PM  

  • Chad,
    Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. I'll head over there and check it out!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/16/2005 11:47:00 PM  

  • Teresa,
    Don't worry about my last comment. I was fired up after reading that post at J's. My scripture reading for today:

    Prov:18:13: He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.

    I know better than to write when I am upset. Never mind any question I asked.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 5/16/2005 11:49:00 PM  

  • As some who loves 'iron sharpens iron' type conversations myself I really enjoy going, and posting, and having it returned, etc.
    But at the same time I can see the desire for sometimes to have a site where only agreeable people go to discuss their issue. A site about, perhaps, 'theonomy' might wish to exist just for people who were theonomists to discuss how to do theonomy, etc.
    Being in the middle of writing a post on 'how intolerant these liberals are' I also have an opinion as to 'who' is more willing to have good dialoge.

    By Blogger von, at 9/09/2006 01:12:00 PM  

  • As I have become painfully aware, Hammer, the dark truly do not like to bring their discussions into the light.

    Those who are hiding behind their own doctrine, or looking to have their backs patted by those who follow their own personal creeds don't want a thing to do with us Christians. Is it about us being disrespectful? Not in the least.

    What is disrespectful is deleting a comment, along with any evidence that there ever was one (ie: removing even the "comment deleted by admin") and then bashing the commenter as if something heinous had been said!

    The readers, (see a question or two about wondering what MrsH said on Jennifer's blog) want to know what was said, why it was deleted and what right Jennifer has to say what it said without proof.

    People should feel free to comment or not, as much as they would like. However, don't make a statement about somehting on a public blog, erase other opinions and then demand that someone who has respectfully and thoughtfully submitted an opinon never visit again!

    That's the difference...there isn't one person, no matter what their beliefs, that I wouldn't welcome discussion with on MY blog! Well, maybe that one guy...the guy that says he's the Messiah. He can stay away ;)

    By Blogger Rightthinker2, at 10/04/2006 04:57:00 PM  

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